New Drug-eluting Contact Lens to Provide Timed Drug Delivery Directly to Eye; Improving Recovery, Reducing Cost for Millions after Eye Surgery and LASIK
Published: May 15, 2018
MULLICA HILL, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–
New, drug-eluting soft contact lens technology, has shown to deliver a
number of different drugs directly to the eye and may soon improve
post-operative recovery for millions of people who undergo cataract and
LASIK surgery or suffer corneal abrasions every year.
The new, extended-wear contact, developed by Biomedical researchers at Rowan University and Auburn University,
controls the release of anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic and pain
reducing drugs that are delivered evenly over time. The new technology
can potentially reduce recovery time and post-operative complications
thereby reducing health care cost.
“Patients who undergo eye surgery for cataracts, LASIK or who suffer
corneal abrasions can experience longer healing times, complications,
and even infections if proper care, including administering eye drops,
is not properly followed,” said Mark E. Byrne, PhD, Founding Head and
Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Rowan University, inventor of the
technology, and previously a distinguished professor at Auburn
University and Chief Technical Officer of OcuMedic, Inc.
“Our research shows the new contact lens technology is expected to lead
to higher efficacy for patients compared to topical eye drops by
improving compliance and mitigating concentration peaks and valleys
associated with multiple drops.”
“In addition to serving patients who have undergone surgery, as a
platform technology, the therapeutic lens has been applied to other
diseases of the eye including Dry Eye and Glaucoma,” said Keith D.
Ignotz, President and Chief Executive Officer of OcuMedic, Inc. which is
commercializing the technology. “The current therapeutic eye drops
market is $16 billion annually. A successful drug-eluting, soft contact
lens – that could potentially capture a large part of that market – is
expected to garner significant interest from large pharma companies.”
OcuMedic is expected to begin clinical studies necessary for U.S.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval this year, first as an
in-vivo study for the FDA to navigate into the Phase 1 – 2 human trials
The technology is covered by nine U.S. patents and is expected to be the first product of its kind on the market, once approved.
Approximately six million Americans undergo some type of eye surgery
every year – four million cataract and one million post-corneal abrasion
surgeries and 800,000 Lasik procedures. All patients require
post-operative care which includes eye drops which can wash out quickly
with only about 5% of the therapy reaching the target tissue. Eye drops
can be hard to administer, and the low delivered concentration of
medication tends to aggravate post-operative complications costing $70
billion per year. Dry eye disease affects greater than five million
people in the U.S. and approximately 40 million worldwide and is the
most frequent complaint and reason to visit an eye care professional in
the U.S. Approximately three million Americans suffer from Glaucoma,
worldwide more than 60 million people are affected.
Dr. Byrne and OcuMedic have received approximately $1.85 million in
funding to date, including research funding from the National Institutes
of Health and has recently received an undisclosed amount from a
national Angel investor group and is staging for a Series A funding in
the $4 million range.
About OcuMedic, Inc.
OcuMedic, Inc. is the developer of the world’s first, drug-eluting
therapeutic lens/clear corneal bandage for the delivery of drugs for the
global ophthalmic market. Invented by Mark Byrne, Ph.D. distinguished
engineering professor and Head of the Department of Biomedical
Engineering at Rowan University, the therapeutics lens is a soft contact
developed in the most widely used lens material that precisely controls
the release of drugs that target post-operative eye care to reduce
healing time and complications. The device is a platform technology,
with OcuMedic demonstrating controlled release of a number of
therapeutics for the duration of wear, targeted at the large and growing
surgery, dry eye and glaucoma markets. For more information, visit http://ocumedic.net/.
(Editors please note: High-resolution images at http://ocumedic.net/techinspects/)
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180515005830/en/
Bill Wells, 404-281-7490
Keith Ignotz, 404-444-6030
Source: OcuMedic, Inc.
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